From the media world perspective, the Big 10 expansion is totally different from the other major conferences. The Big 10 move to Maryland and Rutgers seems to be totally based on funding the Big 10 TV Network. Cable systems pay a certain amount to the Big 10 for every subscriber on their network and payments are based on local rates, population density etc. Maryland and Rutgers are in a very densely populated area, and I assume cable companies are used to paying high rates. The SEC and Big 12 models are based on TV value of the product to outside companies. Thus match-ups are much more important to the value of the product. This is apples and oranges. Which model will be the best? We will see. But the Big 10 is locked into some hefty expenses to run a network, and has to feed the monster. This is a move to keep up with growing expenses and a product that is not easy to sell (ie tier 3 sports) as ESPN has found out with the Longhorn network.